Ear Acupuncture & Aromatherapy help Preoperative Anxiety

Preoperative anxiety: acupuncture and lavender can help. Ear acupuncture combined with lavender oil aromatherapy, can reduce preoperative anxiety in coronary angiography patients, according to German researchers.

The study was undertaken in the Department of Cardiology & Angiology at University Hospital Bergmannsheil. Data from 80 consecutive patients undergoing diagnostic coronary angiography, with or without additional procedures such as valve repair/replacement, was gathered. Patients were prospectively randomised to receive either pre-surgical ear acupuncture plus lavender oil aromatherapy, or sham acupuncture and placebo oil. Oil was applied to the chest, and needles were left in for thirty minutes.

After treatment, the true acupuncture group showed significantly decreased anxiety scores compared with the placebo group. This group also reported greater perceived surgical success (87%) compared with the placebo group (66%).

The authors say that such a worthwhile reduction in preoperative anxiety is especially important in this often fragile patient group, and that acupuncture and aromatherapy could reduce the need for conventional sedative drugs which can have serious side-effects for these patients.

(Efficacy of Auricular Acupuncture & Lavender Oil Aromatherapy in Reducing Preinterventional Anxiety in Cardiovascular Patients: A Randomised Single-Blind Placebo-Controlled Trial. Journal of Integrated & Complementary Medicine, January 2022.)